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perinatal counselling (psych nurse)- what to expect?

(14 Posts)
squizita Tue 11-Feb-14 11:09:43

I am (at the moment) in early pregnancy following 3 MCs. One was a partial molar so had all the scary oncology blood tests and threat of chemo etc'. Luckily I got referred to a clinic, thankfully they found I had APS so with medication my pregnancies now have a 65-70+% chance of success.

Hence, I am quite anxious at the moment and it's manifesting in mild but unpleasant ways (the odd nightmare, knicker checking, worrying at every twinge etc'). I'm perfectly able to go to work and see friends etc'.

At booking in I mentioned this, my midwife said it was normal after several losses and could provide counselling/CBT if that might help and I said yes. I just got the letter, my appointment is with a perinatal psych nurse. But now I am anxious about that! blush Doh!

It doesn't help that a long-term-but-sometimes-toxic friend (who suffers with more significant mental health issues than me, so logically I think had a totally different level of intervention) basically told me once you go you're on a radar of 'unfit mothers' and under scrutiny- and scared the heck out of me.

Anyone had counselling due to previous trauma such as MC- what happens on the 1st appointment?

puppythedog Tue 11-Feb-14 14:21:26

I'm a mental health nurse. I don't do perinatal specifically/not at all any more but have dealt with expecting mums/dads in crisis.
It is not true that once you are on the radar you're under scrutiny. There are not the resources in social care or health care for that. Any scrutiny will be to work out what can help. CBT if that is what is offered is a way of looking at the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions and how taht interplays in our lives.
There is also good evidence that supporting parents early including in pregnancy can help reduce the risk of bonding complications and also the child developing mental ill health later in life.

First appointment should be about getting to know you and what is diffficult. There will probably be homework to do between sessions and it may be that they feel you do not need their support.

I can't imagine it's anything to worry about.

jinglebellsarecoming Tue 11-Feb-14 14:23:44

I had counselling when I was pregnant and was under a special team of midwives etc etc and it never put me on any radar other than the midwives own radar.

jinglebellsarecoming Tue 11-Feb-14 14:24:30

Meant to add counselling was for pregnancy related issues.

squizita Tue 11-Feb-14 14:27:55

Thanks so much guys. That's really reassuring. smile

HelenHen Tue 11-Feb-14 14:33:30

I don't have anything to add but I just wanna say good luck and I hope it helps!

Madonnaquintessential Tue 11-Feb-14 15:01:05

I would strongly recommened smile I am going to be starting cbt soon. I have suffered with minor post nstal depression. I have sometimes got a little worried- as I have thought, what do they do with all the personal info I have shared? However , I think I am being overly-anxcious! I should also say my dd is now 9 months! I only wish I had addressed my issues sooner- but you dont know what you dont know... I was in denial about my depression. Good luck smile I think it is fantastic you are doing all you can to be mentally prepared for your dcs arrival. smile

Madonnaquintessential Tue 11-Feb-14 15:06:25

Sorry, I might also add: when i went for the initial cbt consiltation I expressed my fears of being deemed unfit mother etc etc... The counseller assured me, many mothers who suffer pnd can actually be even more attentive / loving with their babies as they feel they have to compensate for what they imagine they are lacking (this is deffo me) So I guess what I am trying to say is the fact you are actively seeking help proves how pro active you are in ensuring you will be a fab mum etc. This is admirable- many mothers to be just whinge about their fat ankles and dread the labour lol!

Madonnaquintessential Tue 11-Feb-14 15:07:13

* consultation (stupid phone!)

squizita Tue 11-Feb-14 15:36:54

Thanks! smile

peeapod Tue 11-Feb-14 16:57:51

I'm not going to lie to you, and i am sure thats why your friend told you too, it does happen. Its happened to me. however, that being said there are a wide range of mental health problems and a wide range of interventions, support, and similar to deal with.

It is the unfortunate case that if you are deemed in need of practical support surrounding mental health, or indeed other issues that you will be reffered to social services but this is because thats the people best placed to help you.

However, as you are taking an active role in recognising and treating your aniexty before it gets any worse then i would hope that any more intervention beyond a perninatl mental health team would be needed.

Likely not to happen at all, so don't panic. As you pointed out your friend has more complex needs than you so that is reflected in the level of intervention.

squizita Tue 11-Feb-14 19:05:08

Thanks Peapod, I know that it happens - but as you say I guess it depends on the level of care required.

nearlyreadytopop Tue 11-Feb-14 20:17:22

squiz I found cbt to be amazingly beneficial. I was convinced I was fine, I was coping etc but after the first session I felt such relief.
I had basically been bottling everything up since ds was born (v traumatic birth, scbu, ds anaphylaxis, 2 early mc and 1 at 17 weeks). Sitting with the counselor, making a list of what had happened really brought it home that no, I wasn't ok and yes I did need some help to get out of the fog of depression and anxiety.
I still see my counsellor occasionally, I think of it as a pit stop for my mind.
I found the first couple of sessions very draining mentally and surprisingly physically too.

squizita Tue 11-Feb-14 20:37:15

Thanks Nearly. That sounds exactly the kind of thing I need. smile It's like you say - I think I feel 'normal' but know actually my experiences have taken a toll on me and I need to get it fixed now rather than later.

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